There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fleeting Fall Colors

Hello again,
Colors are starting to disappear from the landscape and change to various browns, grays, and yesterday, whites. After a brief snowfall though, some colors have persisted and are quite beautiful yet. Here are some of the highlights from our landscape.
Cotinus 'Golden Spirit'
This can be seen from quite a distance. The summertime golden leaves turn a fiery red on this smokebush. I personally love how the veins turn last giving it a multi-colored effect. Golden Spirit continues to surprise me every year. In addition to the fiery red fall color, it actually produced smoke this year as well. It was the first year since planting that I've seen flowering on it. I just assumed it wasn't going to happen. My previous experiences with Cotinus in general is that you can cut the plant back to the ground each year for bigger, more beautiful foliage but then you lose the flowers. I hadn't been doing that intentionally, but there has been some dieback. This year, we got the best of both worlds.
Physocarpus Coppertina™
Coppertina™ is quite a beautiful plant all year 'round. Dark purple foliage with copper highlights in the summer and brilliant red in fall. During the winter time, this plant has interesting exfoliating bark which adds to its four season appeal. For Midwest Groundcovers, Coppertina™ has replaced the more well known 'Diabolo' based on it's better resistance to powdery mildew. It grows 6-8' tall and wide. In our garden, it contrasts well with the Forsythia Show Off™.

Fothergilla 'Beaver Creek'
Beaver Creek Fothergilla has always been one of my favorite fall coloring shrubs. Growing 3-4' tall with creamy bottle brush-like flowers in spring, this is a great plant for the shady border. Here in fall, its orange-red fall color is nothing to scoff at. Another multi-dimensional shrub, I have this growing close to where deer are always browsing, and they have yet to attack it. Today the white frost on the orange-red foliage contrasted very nicely.

Cotoneaster 'Hessei'
Looking like red raindrops cascading to the ground, this plant really caught my attention today. The gray stems contrasting with the red leaves really does add interest to this already interesting plant. Summer and fall red fruit are typically what I love this plant for, but these days in late fall, show off a delicate beauty. A Chicagoland Grows introduction from many years ago, this plant really merits use in the area. Great job Morton Arboretum for promoting this plant in the program!

Callicarpa hybrid
More kudos to The Morton Arboretum for this gem. While yet to be named, the fruit on this particular beautyberry are quite their namesake. We received two varieties a few years back and this one has remained a favorite of mine. The fruit are sometimes so heavy that the branches look like they are weeping. Here's hoping that Chicagoland Grows picks it up and starts marketing them. I think there are great applications for the landscape for these.

Thanks again for reading the blog. I hope you enjoyed. I'll be keeping my eyes out for the more subtle beauty of winter for the next couple months, so keep checking the blog. Until next time, have a great day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Grasses in Fall

Hello again,
This week I wanted to make note of some of the dwarf grasses in our gardens. Fall is the best time of year for most grasses, so it makes my job very easy in showing off how beautiful they can be.

Sporobolus heterolepis 'Tara' 'Tara' has been in the garden for some time now. I've had it on the blog several times, but this year, it showed me something distinguishingly different. The stems are a rustic red color! In this particular picture, a straight species Sporobolus reseeded itself amongst the 'Tara', and that is why it looks so large. The species having the bright yellow stems above, contrasts quite nicely with the smaller 'Tara'.
Calamagrostis brachytricha
This is not necessarily a dwarf, being a species itself. Just a smaller grass that is not well enough known. C. brachytricha is a 3-4 tall grass that has amazingly showy plumes in late summer. Unlike it's cousin 'Karl Foerster', this blooms late in the year rather than in spring. It can also handle a small amount of shade. Preferably afternoon shade, as the morning sun is as important to plants as your first morning coffee.
Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldtau'
Gold Dew Tufted Hair Grass is quickly becoming one of my favorite grasses in the landscape. Glowing seedheads float above pale green foliage, and light up with just a touch of sun. This planting gets half day sun and does quite well. This variety does prefer some moisture, but can handle periods of drought. Only growing 24" tall with flowers in our garden, the grass itself is about 12" tall and 24" wide.

Schizachyrium 'Carousel' In my estimation, this is one of the best plants to come out of Chicagoland Grows. It offers a native cultivar that grows more uniform so those that are afraid of the wild look can be satisfied. Consistently growing to 24" tall and wide, the fall colors on this are astounding, and only when in nutrient rich soils, does it flop over.
Schizachyrium 'Blue Heaven' Another impressive Little Blue Stem is 'Blue Heaven'. This one grows about 4' tall and sways with the slightest breeze. Reds and oranges abound, this beauty will be appreciated by the hardest to please. In summer, foliage is steely blue and matches well with orange flowers from Daylilies or Geum.

Gentiana 'True Blue' I wish my picture would do this plant justice. But it seems very difficult to capture the color blue that these actually are. Regardless, this stunning fall bloomer grows to 24" tall and wide with a somewhat cascading habit. We had these in containers this year and they presented like a nice "Spiller" would.

Allium 'Ozawa' 'Ozawa' is one of my favorite plants this time of year. It seems like I wait and wait for it to look amazing, and when it finally starts to bloom, it never fails to impress. As you can see in the picture, the honeybees love the late season pollen that these produce. And who wouldn't love that color in the front of the shade border.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this blog. Don't forget that it is perfect timing to plant some bulbs. Give us a call, we still have some great varieties available. And while the fall colors last, enjoy them. Until next time, have a great day!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall Colors in Illinois

Hello again,
Fall is the time for forgotten flowers and fabulous foliage. I think that fall reminds most people of Asters and Chrysanthemums. For me, while I find them both beautiful in their own right, I find that Anemones are the most stunning. This years avoidance of frost has allowed our Anemones to flourish.
Anemone 'Pamina'
This is growing in full shade below a 50' tall Picea abies, Norway Spruce. In this deep shade, it is also forced to live with strong drought conditions. Other plants that have done well under this tree include Brunnera and some Boxwoods. Otherwise, it has proven to be a difficult area to get things to grow. I had previously tried Geranium maculatum with little success. 'Pamina' grows 24" tall and similar width. This is something difficult to beat for fall flower.

Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'
This Anemone is also growing here showing off her cheery white blooms with yellow stamens.
Also known as "Windflower", these blooms dance around the tops of the plants with the slightest breeze. Bumblebees still visit the heavy pollen producing flowers if the temperature remain in the 70's like we are seeing these last few days. This is a little taller than the 'Pamina', growing to 30" tall but remaining around 24" wide. Imagine this mixed in a bed of Carex 'Ice Dance' and watch the combination of variegated foliage from 'Ice Dance' blend ever so nicely with the flowers of this gem.

Aster laevis and Aster novae-angliae
In one of our native garden spaces, these two plants have provided a fantastic fall display. Neither plant were actually installed here, but they existed in other parts of the garden and reseeded here. I am quite impressed how they have come together to form a picture reminiscent of a Monet painting. This just proves that sometimes nature is the best landscape designer.

Corylus americana
Finally a little fall color to finish the blog. American Hazelnut has become one of my favorite plants for fall color. Oranges, yellows and reds mixed into one plant and growing up to 15' tall combined with some funky looking nuts, this has so many fun things to look at. In spring the catkins are interesting as well making this a true 3 season plant.

Thanks again for reading the blog. Until next time, have a great day and enjoy the amazing weather we are having!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Favorite Fall Combo

When asked what was my favorite plant combination, I asked, "At what time of year?" So they gave me this time slot! If you are a customer of ours, each week we send out an email blitz with specials and each week we have an employees favorite plant combos. Two of the plants below are my favorites any time of the year, but the Liatris is mostly special now!

Liatris aspera
Butterfly magnet, when it's a little warmer. Now, it's an upright exclamation in the garden. This plant grows to 4' tall and prefers to be in dry to slightly moist soils.

Calamintha nepeta ssp nepeta
This has been a favorite since the day I laid eyes on it. Flowering from late June until frost, Calamintha nepeta ssp nepeta is a blooming machine. Flowers are incredibly attractive to honey bees, so for the faint of heart, be careful. I am however allergic to bee stings, but love to view them hard at work. They've only gotten me once in seven years when I shake the plant and watch them fly. This particular variety is sterile so it won't reseed all over the garden. And furthermore, when temperatures drop at night in the fall, flowers turn light blue.
Geranium 'Rozanne'
When I first started working at Midwest Groundcovers, I was not a perennial person. In fact, I thought this Piet Oudolf guy was crazy for ripping out our shrubs and groundcovers and planting a garden entirely of perennials. "There is no way this garden will look good", I thought. December that year, Geranium "Jolly Bee" which no longer exists, was still blooming. I soon changed my mind and became a perennial plant geek. The bees never got the memo either, and still love 'Rozanne' even though she changed her name. They may not be as jolly, but they are working hard on Rozanne.

Sorry for the quick blog, but it has been a busy week! Until next time, have a great day!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Last week, the IGIA HOPE group came to Midwest Groundcovers to tour and learn from our company. If you are not familiar with HOPE, it stands for Horticultural Occupation and Professional Experience. Top students from local community colleges travel to 7 locations a year and learn from these companies what they may or may not want to do in their careers. We were their first stop this year. Here are some of the things we did.

I was the tour guide for this segment. I think it's always interesting to see it from a different perspective, so I like people to see what I see. Here, we learned the entire process of how an order makes it from nursery ground to vehicle. It was an eye opening experience for some. As a former customer, I never had any idea how large the nursery was. When you get a chance to peruse all the acreage, you realize, "That's why it takes so long to get my plants!"

On the second day in Virgil, there were several opportunities to learn. Here, Bruce Zierk is teaching about our state of the art greenhouse. Some of the feedback from the event expressed the surprise by how many gadgets and settings there were to make sure everything is running correctly. In this greenhouse, we are able to produce amazing plants for Bud and Bloom and other items for early spring sales.
Here, Kevin Donnelly trekked us up to the top of the mountain of pine fines. Here we are checking the temperature to make sure things are ok. On a 70 degree day, the mulch was a "cool" 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Kevin said that was cooler than normal.

Overall, it was a fun two days for the tour guides, and hopefully the students felt the same. To the students, thanks for coming out. We really enjoyed your enthusiasm and excitement for all things Midwest. Until next time, have a great day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Piet Oudolf Design Phase IV

Hello again,
A real quick one this week. We have began our forth phase of the Piet Oudolf designed garden. In this phase, we remove our large hedge of Panicum 'Dallas Blues'. It wasn't a design flaw that required this removal. But we've since removed 'Dallas Blues' from our product line and therefore it gets removed from the garden. Roy Diblik's introduction, Panicum 'Northwind' will take its place. Also being removed are the Sanguisorba 'Red Thunder', that we all like. The problem with this plant, is that the Japanese Beetles like them even more than we do.

Along with 'Northwind', we will plant Sporobolus heterolepis. To some peoples dismay was the removal of Phlomis tuberosa. This plant, while beautiful, had become a nuisance in the garden. I was constantly removing seedlings. And if you are familiar with Phlomis tuberosa, you know that having a lot of seedlings like this isn't a good thing. It's a BIG plant. From the same area, Inula magnifica was removed. This was part of the first installation. It also moved around a little, but not too bad. Just never really did anything for anyone here. We never wanted to grow it, and through many tours, nobody ever once asked what it was. To me, that was an indicator of a plant that is not necessary for the product line. In their place will be Liatris pycnostachya and Echinacea pallida. Some Geranium sanguineum 'Max Frei' will be interplanted with exsisting Coreopsis 'Golden Showers'. Eupatorium 'Little Joe' is also coming into this section, replacing some of the aforementioned Sanguisorba.

This has been a fun project this year, and there is only one more major phase to complete. Then we'll wait for the plants we don't grow until next spring. Until next time, thanks for reading and have a great day! Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Garden Phlox for Landscapers

Hello again,
Here at Midwest Groundcovers, LLC, we are growers of fine plants for the midwest. We are pretty good in my estimation at making plants look great in containers so that landscapers, garden centers, and rewholesalers get outstanding plant material. For Phlox, we've gone through a myriad of changes over the years with many varieties going in and out of our product line. Now, we have several varieties that look outstanding in the ground. These garden Phlox that have excelled are three of the most eye-catching plants in the landscape today. Some have made the blog before, and some haven't. But as a collection, they can make your yard look superb. Without further ado, here they are!
Phlox paniculata 'David's Lavender'
This one has been posted in the past. Now, I'm a big fan of Phlox 'Blue Paradise'. And while it's colors are more intense than 'David's Lavender', the plants don't even compare. The foliage of this one is super clean, and I have it in part shade. No mildew to be seen, whatsoever. On nearby plants, they are covered.

Phlox paniculata 'Lord Clayton'
We've had several reds in the past. The best selling was the 'Starfire'. Those plants would be destroyed by powdery mildew by this time. 'Lord Clayton', on the other hand, is more than just marketing. Brought to you by Plants Nouveau, this red flowering, dark-leaved variety, is visible from afar. I have it planted in the landscape next to a white flowering Euphorbia corollata, and the combination is stunning.

Phlox arendsii 'Baby Face'
This has also made the blog in the past. This plant in the phot has already been in full bloom, yet it has a complete set of new blooms coming right now. It has outperformed many other highly touted Phlox in the garden. While initially, I trialed this plant as a recommendation for a pink version of 'Minnie Pearl', but it clearly is not. It blooms later and longer, but it still has the great disease resistance.

That's it for today. I hope you enjoyed! Until next time, happy planting. Have a great day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

New for 2012

Hello again,
Things have been busy around here in August. I've been working on pictures for our 2012 catalog and that has consumed most of my time. But I thought I should share some of the new for 2012, and let you know that we have these two available now in bloom!!!

Hibiscus 'Cranberry Crush'
This is our regal dark red variety that has been looking great in the nursery for a week or so. The plants are not yet in full bloom, but are getting close. It's a nice time to get them to a garden center or, in your significant others garden. They look great and have a massive eye appeal. This one gets 3-4' tall and 4-5' wide according to the breeders.

Hibiscus 'Jazzberry Jam'
Jazzberry Jam gets a little bit bigger than its friend 'Cranberry Crush'. Growing 4-5' tall and 6-7' wide, this beauty gets big and bigger. Large dinner plate sized blooms are the star, but clean dark green foliage enhance the color of the flowers. We've carried Hibiscus in the past, but now we are trying again. These should be great sellers in the garden center, or just what the kids needed as a back to school gift! Maybe you should send one in with your child to give to their teacher!

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to spilling the beans on some of the other new plants for 2012 in the coming weeks. Until next time, I hope you have a great day!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Natives Still Looking Great!

I was fortunate this week to go on a seed/plant collecting experience in St Charles. We were collecting seed from the very cool, but difficult to find Saururus cernuus or Lizard's Tail. While our production hero, Angel, was digging plants from an area that we were given permission to take from, Joan Kramer and I looked around the garden at some of the very cool and interesting native plants in her Pottowatomie Garden. Here are some of the highlights!

Euphorbia corollataThis has quickly become a favorite plant of mine. I first acquired this plant at Summer Field Day at Ball Seed five or six years ago. Donna Cummings had given me a plug from the Natural Garden and I planted it in our garden at Midwest. I've admired it ever since, and now that Natural Garden Natives are a part of the Midwest Groundcovers catalog, I can now sell them. This plant grows to 24" tall and wide. Flowering right now, this plant even looks good not in flower. Being a Euphorbia, plant parts are toxic, but the seeds are attractive food for game birds.
Sium suave Interestingly, this was the other plant that Donna was giving away that day. Upon first glance, I thought she was trying to give me Queen Anne's Lace. But I've come to learn that this plant is important for its amazing insect populations that live amongst it. This plant does best in wet situations, hence the common name, Water Parsnip. This is a plant that has alluded my camera for many years so I was very excited to get this shot of it. Sium suave is variable in height, so it can be anywhere from 2-6' tall according to the Connecticut Botanical Society.

Phyla lanceolata, F/K/A Lippia lanceolata Unfortunately, this is something that we do not grow. Lanceleaf Fogfruit, is a widely distributed wetland plant that was nicely situated along the Fox River. Large patches were creeping around other native perennials and all were blooming with these dime-sized pinkish-purple flowers. Only about 6" tall, it looks like it can reseed around a little, but is easily manageable.

Thanks again for taking the time to read the blog. Until next time, have a great day!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life in the Prairie

Hello again,
I don't typically post two blogs in a week, but I couldn't resist mentioning something about our prairie. Last year, the prairie pictured was actually a planting of Juniperus and Flower Carpet® roses. We made the change so that the prairie that existed would have a "designed prairie" next to it. I didn't expect to see the life that I see in just one year. Yesterday, I was literally startled by the amount of butterflies that flew into the air as I approached the garden. Swallowtails, Monarchs, and others flew off in every direction. I only wish I was walking up with my camera ready to go, but sadly, I was changing lenses at the time. I was able to capture some of the critters before they left.

Eupatorium maculatum was blooming in the creek bed, with Tiger Swallowtails all over it. Unfortunately only a couple remained after my approach, and this is the only one that was feeling photogenic.

Liatris spicata seems to be what most of the butterflies are going to though. This is a black version of the Tiger Swallowtail. Apparently, only the females have the black version. There were several of these black ones in the garden as well.

The prairie to me looks stunning. Although, I'm a little biased as I got to choose which plants to place there. Cassia hebecarpa, Liatris spicata, Pycnanthemum virginianum, and Parthenium integrifolium constitute the majority of what is planted. I've also noticed some Giant Swallowtails in the garden that seem to be infatuated with the Pycnanthemum, or Mountain Mint, as I seem them frequenting these often. Overall, even though the roses and junipers looked nice, they did not attract the amount of life that currently resides here.

Thanks again for browsing the blog. Until next time, have a great day!

Friday, July 29, 2011


Hello again,
So after five years of writing the blog, I have never written an entire post solely on daylilies. Some of them have made the blog, like 'Rocket City' which shows up once again today, but mostly, I figure people know what a daylily is. But the truth is, a daylily is not a just a daylily. While 'Happy Returns', 'Stella de Oro', and 'Pardon Me' are used very frequently, some of what I think are the best daylilies are hardly used. Furthermore, we have some new ones that aren't in the catalog yet, so I wanted to give a shout out to let you know we have them.
Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas'
This is a new one to us. 'Going Bananas' is an improved version of 'Happy Returns' with more flower power. When looking at them today, I also noticed that the flowers are larger. Foliage stays nice and clean on this plant making it a nice choice for the landscape. Pair it with Veronica 'Eveline' for a nice pastel garden.

Hemerocallis 'Siloam Peony Display'
A unique new color to our product line is this variety. We now carry two double daylilies. This one is peachy-orange with decent foliage. While this color is sometimes difficult to put into a garden, I would think it would be stunning mixed with white Phlox or Nepeta 'Walker's Low'.

Not pictured today is another new one we are carrying called 'Ruby Sentinel'. In the past few years we've experienced great difficulty in producing 'Woodside Firedance' which is one of our most highly sought after daylilies. Because of this, we are switching over to the more available 'Ruby Sentinel'. We think you will appreciate the change.

Hemerocallis 'Grape Velvet'
This has always been one of may favorite daylilies. The color is so rich and I especially love the contrast of the chartreuse throat. If you are looking for a great deal, I can put my salesman hat on and give you a great price on these beauties! Coreopsis 'Creme Brulee' mixed with this makes a great combination.

Hemerocallis 'Rocket City'
This one has made the blog before, and I need to reiterate how great it truly is. A couple days ago we received a request for "those native roadside daylilies". Knowing that he was referring to what I call ditch lilies, I tried to steer him in this direction. When seeing the plants he exclaimed that they look much nicer than what he was thinking of. I said, "Of course they are". In full sun, mix this with Schizachyrium Blue Heaven™ or 'Carousel' and have a stunning orange and blue display.

Well that was fun! I hope you liked today's daylilies. Try one out and see the difference. We currently have available 24 different varieties. Thanks again for reading, and until next time, have a great day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's Hot in the Shade and Prairie

Things are sure hot around here. New plantings in the Piet Oudolf garden have been temporarily suspended until we can get heat indexes below 100 degrees. So I perused the gardens for other things looking good in the sweltering heat, and found some nice surprises.

Liatris spicata with Parthenium integrifoliumThis was part of a renovation from last year. This area was formerly Flower Carpet® Roses and Junipers. Junipers are still surrounding the area, but we replanted the rest of it with native prairie plants.

Another view of this area shows Eryngium yuccifolium and in the background Cassia hebecarpa. The beautiful Quercus bicolor, or Swamp White Oak makes a nice transition from our older prairie to the newly planted one.

Hosta 'Halcyon'
This is one of my all time favorite Hostas. It holds up very well even in intense heat. The plants further back are in full shade, while the ones in front do get some afternoon sun which is why they have a green tint to them. This variety of Hosta has been one of the best for sports. Some of the plants that have come from this include, 'June' and 'First Frost' to name two.

Astilbe Color Flash™Color Flash™ Astilbe looks great in the landscape right now. The flowers are light pink with a pleasing light fragrance. Not pictured, is the partner for this planting, Carex elata 'Aurea'. Together, this makes a nice combination for wet shade. The area in which these are planted gets wet everyday from us watering our display yard and perhaps is why this has been so successful.

Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'Hidden below a Washington Hawthorn is this nice stand of Hakonechloa. This year, this is the only variety that we carry. But next year, watch out! We'll be carrying two other varieties of Hakone grass. They will be 'Fubuki' which is a white and green variegated plant. Those also look nice in the landscape right now. And we will also be carrying 'All Gold'. These are nice plants for the shade, but usually require some moisture. In this area, they are under a tree and rarely get watered, so there is some drought tolerance there as well.

I hope everyone is staying cool and healthy out there. This weather is brutal. Thanks again for taking the time to read, and until next time, have a great day.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer blooms

The garden is looking great right now. Echinacea are blooming everywhere you look. There are definitely some stars out there, even though it all looks great.

Echinacea 'Pica Bella'This has been a favorite of mine since the first day I laid eyes on it. This is a nice, shorter variety growing to 30" tall maximum. The petals curve upwards which give it a unique look different from other coneflowers. Dark stems, and just an overall interesting color, make this a top-of-the-line perennial.

In the Piet Oudolf garden, seedlings have popped up everywhere with Echinacea and quite a few others. But these white Echinacea looked very nice amidst various pink seedlings. The contrast in colors is always a welcome site.

Monarda Grand Marshall™ has been one of the best beebalms in the garden for mildew resistance. I have it planted here in part shade where it gets plenty of morning sun but is in medium shade from mid afternoon on. Plants are located next to Ligularia 'Britt Marie-Crawford' and Dryopteris 'Brilliance', the Autumn Fern, and look great there. In the background, you can see that our Aesculus parviflora hedge is in full bloom. Grand Marshall™ grows only 3' tall in shadier locations to 28" in full sun. In a full sun garden, I would site near Liatris 'Floristan White' or Phlox 'David's Lavender' for some nice color contrast.

Thanks again for reading. We intend to go back to enhancing the Piet Oudolf garden next week! Until next time, have a great day.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pink Hydrangea arborescens

Hello again,
I've been watching the two Hydrangea arborescens varieties the past two years. Last year however, a deer made it difficult to judge as it ate all the blooms off of Bella Anna® before I had a chance to see them. I have to admit to being a skeptic at first when these were originally released. I didn't expect the beautiful plants that I have seen this year. They have really changed my mind.

Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle™ Spirit
Invincibelle™ Spirit is a bit taller than the other variety. These plants currently stand around 42" tall. My original concern on these plants was their ability to stand up. They have yet to flop on me. A lighter shade of pink than Bella Anna®, some have grown to appreciate it more. Even after 65mph winds this morning, they still stand up straight.

Hydrangea Endless Summer® Bella Anna®
This plant has darker blooms than Invincibelle™ Spirit. We have this planted in our entrance mixed with Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers'. While not in bloom yet, I expect the yellow and pink combination to be stunning. We also have this in full shade, and it has done very well. These plants are coming in around 24" tall and wide.

Both of these plants have exceeded my expectations. I would expect them to do the same for you. Until next time, have a great day!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Section Three of Piet Oudolf Garden

This is round three of the renovation.

I wanted to start this post with something that has worked very well in the garden. This combination of Stachys 'Hummelo' with Coreopsis 'Golden Showers' has been very nice to look at the past couple weeks. The fine texture of the foliage on 'Golden Showers' also contrasts well with the more coarse 'Hummelo'. The colors together make a great contrast and the foliage textures will look great together well into fall.

In this area, we removed a large patch of Amsonia x 'Blue Ice'. The area in which is was planted was starting to get too big. We are going to cut the large swathe into pieces and plant Scabiosa 'Pink Mist' and Monarda bradburiana in the areas that are removed. We currently don't have the Monarda, so that will go in later. I also refrained from cutting out the other piece of Amsonia until we have the replacement plants. Originally, Geranium 'Jolly Bee' climbed over the top of the Amsonia, but eventually, the 'Blue Ice' took over the area and smothered the 'Jolly Bee'.

In this section, we used to have a large Amsonia hubrichtii seedling, that I was very fond of. If you've ever been on a tour of the gardens, I probably pointed it out to you. However, Piet did not like the height that it had, so we removed it. It was the plant collector in me that wanted to keep it there. But I do see his point, that it didn't quite fit. We will replace it with the real Amsonia hubrichtii.

Other changes in the garden include removal of Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'. While there is no question that it is a beautiful plant, it struggles with the dry soils that we provide in this garden, and often gets hit by frost right as the blooms start to break bud. They will be replaced by Liatris spicata. We also removed a large chunk of Sorghastrum nutans 'Sioux Blue' as it didn't really fit where it was. It will be replaced by Allium 'Summer Beauty' and when we have it, Geranium soboliferum. Thanks again for taking the time to check out the blog. Comments are always welcome, so keep them coming. Hope you are having a great summer, and until next time, a great day!